Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What I Write

When I was younger, I thought I would only enjoy one type of book: one that had magic in it. Then, I found A Series of Unfortunate Events, and everything almost changed.

Except, that was it. That was the only non-magical series I was reading. Until I went to secondary school and was required to read Boy by Roald Dahl, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, I didn't read another book that didn't have magic in it. I was reading Harry Potter, and Darren Shan, and Garth Nix.

My first book was a fantasy book. My second was sci-fi. And it wasn't just a genre fixation. I was only reading and writing novels. Nothing else.

I tried to write some short stories. They were derivative at best.

Then, when I was seventeen, I wrote a book that didn't have magic in it. It was set in Dublin, it had swearing in it, and no one could throw a fire ball or read anyone's mind. It was a perfectly ordinary book. More or less. But it was still a novel.

I tried writing some poetry, and couldn't get it right.

Eventually, I found my poetic voice. That was important for me. I was writing things that had meaning for me, and I was able to put some form on them. It was a big step in the right direction.

As I entered third year in college, I wrote a play for the first time. The only time I'd ever written a script before this was a bad, short screenplay a couple of years back.

By this point, I was doing something else with my reading, too. I was reading all sorts of books. I was reading novellas, poetry, short stories, and non-fiction. I had actually found non-fiction interesting. I was reading books on business and mental health and writing, and I was loving it.

When I wrote Balor Reborn in 2012, I also started writing flash fiction. I managed to take ideas and turn them into 1000 word stories quite easily.

The end result: I now write novellas, in different genres, as well as flash fiction on romance and mythology and vague elements of fantasy and magical realism; I've been writing poetry, and I've written short scripts for stage production; to top it all off, I've been writing books on writing.

It may not seem significant for some, but when stories were my whole world, turning to all of these different areas and genres has been life-changing for me. I'm not just a novelist, or a poet, or a playwright; I'm a lot of different things, all at the same time, and it's the spice that makes my life that little bit more interesting.

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